Jeremy Bonderman hasn’t pitched since posting a 5.53 ERA in 171 innings for the Tigers in 2010, sitting out all of last season when a deal with the Indians fell through, but apparently he’s eying a comeback … in 2013.
Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that Bonderman underwent elbow reconstruction surgery today “with the intent of working his way back to the big leagues next spring.”
Bonderman is still just 29 years old, but he hasn’t been healthy and effective in the same season since way back in 2006. Since then he has a 5.19 ERA in 427 innings.
Plenty of bad pitchers are able to snag minor-league contracts with spring training invitations every season and in Bonderman’s case at least he’s a former first-round pick with some good big-league work under his belt, but after two full seasons off he’ll be a major long shot to crack an Opening Day roster.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.
The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.